Grand Teton National Park is all about the wilderness and its beauty. Getting out and enjoying it is what summer travelers to this park relish. Whether rushing down the rapids of the Snake River or languishing in a canoe on a quiet glacial lake, hiking through quiet forests amid moose and elk or climbing the heights of the Tetons themselves, vacations in Grand Teton National Park are full of adventure.
Travel to Grand Teton National Park
Arrive at Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming by plane or car. The nearest airport is in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, about 5 miles from the park entrance. Salt Lake City offers a larger airport that is 300 miles from this park. Car rentals are available in Jackson Hole and Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Located between Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park has three entrances — to the north, south and east.
Activities in Grand Teton National Park
Boating in the park is varied. Jackson Lake, the park’s largest body of water, allows motor boats, sailboats, canoes and kayaks. Take a scenic cruise of the lake, with breakfast and dinner cruises available from the Grand Teton Lodge Company. Since it’s smaller, Jenny Lake only allows smaller motorized boats as well as canoes and kayaks. Take a cruise on the lake with Jenny Lake Boating Company.
Float trips down the Snake River range from white water rafting to scenic float trips. Many commercial rafting outfitters, both inside and outside the park, offer a variety of float trips for wildlife viewing — from moose to eagles. Fish for trout and whitefish in the lakes and streams of Grand Teton National Park or fly fish in a drift boat on the Snake River.
Hikers enjoy Grand Teton National Park’s more than 250 miles of varied trails. The Signal Mountain Summit Trail and the Inspiration Point Trail in the Jenny Lake area are popular day hikes for viewing the Teton’s natural beauty. Take a boat ride across Jenny Lake and hike the Cascade Canyon Trail to Hidden Falls, continuing to Lake Solitude and the Paintbrush Divide for outstanding views of Jackson Hole Valley.
Climbing is a popular activity in the Tetons. The rugged peaks of these mountains are challenging, with snow and ice even in mid-summer, as well as changeable weather. Inexperienced climbers are encouraged to use the many guide services in the park and Jackson Hole for classes and guided climbs (such as Jackson Hole Mountain Guides in Jackson and Exum Mountain Guides in Moose).
Lodging and Dining
Accommodations in the park vary from high-end lodges to rustic cabins. Jenny Lake Lodge, a small cabin resort, is known for its seclusion, individual attention and award-winning food. Jackson Lake Lodge is a larger resort with outstanding views of Jackson Lake, with the Tetons and Mount Moran in the distance. Spacious lodge rooms and cottages with balconies with views are available, as well as two restaurants and a heated outdoor pool.
Coulter Bay Village has simpler accommodations and lower prices. Its atmosphere is family friendly, with cabins, tent cabins, two restaurants and a full recreation center. Signal Mountain Lodge offers great views of Jackson Lake and the Tetons, with motel-style rooms, family bungalows with decks, beach-front cabins and two restaurants.
Flagg Ranch Resort, near Yellowstone Park on the Snake River, features log cabins (some quite luxurious), camping sites, a restaurant, espresso bar and pub. Moulton Ranch Cabins in Moose have small to family-sized cabins, some with kitchenettes. Spur Ranch Cabins, also in Moose, offer cabins with fully equipped kitchens, two restaurants, a market and outdoors store.
Grand Teton National Park, encompassing almost 310,000 acres, offers scenic views, glacial lakes and wildlife in its natural habitat. Travel to this park by air and car, and stay in a variety of lodges or cabins. Outdoor activities include hiking, climbing, boating, rafting and fishing.
Another national park in the Northern Rockies, Glacier, can be accessed by train or car. Or spend more time in Wyoming at a dude ranch for an adventure vacation.